Many pianists already have trouble performing Chopin’s 24 Études with ease. Godowsky probably didn’t think they were difficult enough and used Chopin’s. Leopold Godowsky. Studien über die Etüden von Chopin Studies on Chopin’s Études Études d’après Chopin. Zofia Chechlinska writes, “In the studies both parts. Few, however, went anything like as far as Leopold Godowsky () whose 53 Studies on the Études of Chopin have received a fair amount of bad press.

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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Please use rtudes dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults. This was accomplished in two different ways: Isn’t the left-hand part from Op. Indeed, the Godowsky etudes have the express intention of demonstrating that the left hand could do as much as the right hand could, to the extent of transcribing entire etudes solely for the left hand.

Etudee one of these Studies may, for example, pit together two or even three strands of counterpoint, each with its own personality and demanding to be clearly differentiated. This piece looks striking on the printed page, with its clusters of chords and roll-markings.

Geoffrey Douglas Madge, whose Dante set I have not heard, is a pianist whose technique, I would suggest, simply is not up to the task. The preparatory exercises included in a number of the studies will be found helpful in developing a mechanical mastery over the pianoforte by applying them to the original Chopin studies as well as to the above-mentioned versions. The top notes form a melodic line. He also composed a number of original works.

Godowsky also arranged many works by J. Beautifully involved harmony in velvety rich textures? Huneker notes, “it contains a remarkable passage of consecutive fifths that set the theorists by the ears.

Classical Net Review – Godowsky – Studies on Chopin’s Études

At least one pianist Francesco Libetta has played the complete 53 Studies in concert two recitals in Milan, and It is impossible to think of another living pianist who could have carried off this enterprise with comparable success. Hamelin is, of course, one of the very few living pianists with the technique to play this music as it should be played: He probably wrote an unpublished left-hand adaptation, which was etuces when Godowsky fled Vienna at the onset of World War I.


In its application to piano playing the left hand has many advantages over the right hand and it would suffice to enumerate but a few of these to convince the student that it is a fallacy to deem the left hand less adaptable to training than the right hand.

Stanhope is certainly agile enough, as the punishing speeds of much of the music show clearly enough, but he is also plangently lyrical and fiercely dramatic enough, as many of the etudes show. As it was their first venture from New York, I offered to join them. Whether the genre-bending nature of this production really works is, I suspect, a matter of who you are as an audience.

The left hand is favoured by nature in having the stronger part of the hand for the upper voice of all double notes and chords and also by generally having the strongest fingers for the strongest parts of a melody. And secondly, the Studies for the left hand alone, which number gocowsky-chopin and which can truly be said to have revolutionalized piano-writing for a single hand. After all, his best-known works today the 53 Studies, Passacaglia, transcriptions are fantastic elaborations on works by other gorowsky-chopin, rather than original melodies that he himself composed.

Has any other composer ever produced works of such a revolutionary nature for the piano at such an early age? First-rate production complements eyudes of the great recordings of the century—and I do mean the 20th century with its whelming backlog of palpable genius. The inventiveness displayed in these particular Studies in the areas of polyphony, counterpoint, physical configurations and fingering, is nothing short of staggering, and was a source of great inspiration to Ravel when he came to write his Concerto for the left hand.

Introduction to Leopold Godowsky, his 53 Studies on Chopin’s Etudes, and Passacaglia

It is well known that Chopin was very fond of the violoncello and that in his piano compositions he imitated the style of passages peculiar to that instrument. This was republished with nine others in by Schirmer: The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works.


Chopin provides no pedal markings, but careful use of pedal is essential. Chopin obviously gave enough attention to dressing these etudes up in the kind of expression one finds more widely in his output, but the feeling that one is listening to a thorough, scientific examination of a particular technique is never far from the surface: Given that much of the music Godowsky wrote is “derived” from other composers, should we speak of him as a composer or as a great writer of piano music?

The frequent need to place the thumb on a black key complicates the arpeggios.

To me it can only inspire admiration. Richard Wagner described Chopin as “a composer for the right hand” and Godowsky would probably have agreed with him. Chopin is so successful in infusing poetry into his exercise in thirds that Huneker turns to superlatives: None, certainly, who had received such little formal training.

Figure 3 b A late variation of the Passacaglia. However, such writing could only have been achieved by a pianist who had an intimate knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of the instrument and piano technique.

In the E major midsection, the arpeggiated right hand part changes rhythm from duplets to triplets to quadruplets, and the two hands share a melodic inner voice while the left hand plays bass and the right hand plays rapid figurations; this passage has prompted comparisons with Sigismond Thalberg’s favorite compositional trick, the clever simulation of three-handed playing. What saves them is their very evident commitment to exploring all of the tricky corners of pianism. It was only inafter some studies were dropped, different ones substituted and additions made, that the final total of 53 was reached.

Home News Contacts Copyright. Your email address will not be published. He might have been the most unique writer of piano music after Chopin, and that’s not forgetting Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninoff.

Perhaps it was this independence of mind, unencumbered by the academic notions and traditions of Conservatoire professors, that led Godowsky to rethink certain pianistic problems without inhibition.